Album Review: Havok – Unnatural Selection

65951_havok_unnatural_selectionThrash.  It’s a very simple word that kind of rolls off the tongue.  Go ahead and say it “thrash.”  It has a nice ring to it.  Not like post-thrash, re-thrash, new-gen thrash, thrashcore, or thrash resurgence.  Havok is just thrash.  That’s all.  Their new album, Unnatural Selection epitomizes something we don’t hear too often these days – thrash.  There’s that simple word again.  In case you never looked it up it just means fast tempo and aggression.  A lot of bands perfected the genre and inspired others to take the best parts of thrash and morph into many things.  We all know some of the greats of the genre:  Big Four, Testament, Sepultura, Annihilator, Overkill, and Machine Head to name a few.  And just when you thought thrash was old man’s metal (yeah I’m looking at you Mik), bands like Trivium, Evile, and Havok are keeping that torch alive for a new generation of metalhead.

I only heard of Havok this year (2013) first the first time when I saw them open a set for Testament and Flotsam and Jetsam in Denver. I don’t always expect much from local acts, but damn they had me from the first note through their entire set. They were well-received by the local crowd and had me waiting patiently while they went off to record their latest album…the one I am getting to in a minute.

Unnatural Selection is just under 50 minutes of brute thrash.  It’s aggressive and uncompromising.  I grew up with thrash and to hear a band today create music from my favorite genre in nostalgic.  I can pick out elements from all those great bands of the day.  On this album, I hear early Death Angel, Overkill, and Metallica influences.  And for Black Sabbath fans, there is a cover of Children of the Grave you may enjoy.

Havok2013promophotoThrashHitsThe album immediately kicks into overdrive with I Am The State.  There isn’t a fancy intro just a cool set of riffs before the classic thrash rhythm takes over.  The album maintains a relatively steady pace throughout with few songs taking on a slower more varied tempo such as Is It True, Waste of Life, and Chasing The Edge.  There is no ballad which was popular back in the 80s even with thrash bands.  This is music designed youthful angst.  Unnatural Selection is thrash as it was intended…with no additional influence or combinations with other subgenres.  Just thrash…such a nice word.

Overall, a good kick in the ass.  I am going to have to travel back in time to listen to their previous albums.  Of course, time is never on my side, but it would make for a good retro review to compare and old album to a new one since it’s usually the other way around.  Highly enjoyable, no frills, metal!

Release Date:  25 Jun 13

Record Label:  Candlelight Records

Nationality:  United States (Colorado)


About Reggie

Just a dude writing a heavy metal blog and always on the prowl for a cool metal show. I am also a family man...first and foremost!

Posted on July 2, 2013, in Album Reviews and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. What? Me?
    Thrash is a very nice word. Even nicer with some “add-ons” and frills, preferably a prog-like one. But I read and listen to the things you post, some day I might even start to like it! Thrash is definitely not lowest on my list of metal sub genres, it could be much worse.. 😉

    • Old man’s metal. I heard it. What is your lowest form of metal subgenre?

      • Oh, that sounds so bad. “The lowest form” lol… Like.. the one that should be thrown in the gutter and doesn’t deserve to even be mentioned among the other great sub genres 😛
        Nah, it’s not like that. There’s always a good band or two in every sub genre of metal, I think. The ones that interest me the least (right now) are metalcore/deathcore, pure death metal and gothic metal.

      • Metal and deathcore are tough for me as well. I like death metal but it has to have an element of thrash…melody and a good guitar solo is nice. Goth is hard unless its paradise lost after their first few albums.

  2. Just listened to “Give Me Liberty… Or Give Me Death” and enjoyed it very much.
    However, it did just make me get “Liberty” by Agnostic Front ( stuck in my head.
    I will be singing that all day now…

  3. Ok, I’ve read of the last Havok record, it’s killer, and of the one before as well. I should finally go get this one:-)
    I realised that if I read about this or that record and put them on my ridiculuos long to buy list, you guys are a decisive factor for getting that and not one of the other records. It paid off so far (Matts Kylesa recommendation even brought me a new alltime favorite, as it seems so far;-)).

    • As always thank you for coming by and commenting. I’m glad you liked Havok and we haven’t steered you wrong yet. I like this band and they play live quite well too, so that’s a nice bonus. We always try to include YouTube clips for your listening and viewing pleasure. Remember many moons ago, that was not possible? You had to just read it in magazines and decide to buy or not buy. At least this way, you get to taste test before you start spending hard earned Euros on your music. 😉

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